Montalbano Hills

A considerable part of the territory of Lamporecchio expands on the beautiful Montalbano hills and most of the villages, of the historical marks, of the landscape and naturalistic beauties are linked to it.

On the north they are covered by woods of chestnut trees, holm oaks and acacias, on the south the Montalbano hills are gentler and thanks to a mild climate, for the beneficial influence of the winds coming from the sea, they have a vegetation made of shrubs and typical herbs of the Mediterranean scrub, studded with old villages surrounded by terracings and beautiful expanses of olive groves. It’s a landscape that has been moulded by mankind for the mankind in the course of time, and its beauty was loved by noble Tuscan families who here built farms, farmsteads and beautiful villas. Also the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, whose birthplace rises up on the slopes of  the Montalbano hill, was nurtured by this landscape.

On the Montalbano hills we find also the Barco Reale Mediceo, the hunting preserve which was wanted by Ferdinando II de’ Medici in 1626. The walls which surrounded it were 50 kilometres long and 2 metres high and inside an almost unlimited quantity of game, whose hunting was allowed only to the grand ducal family who, in this way, protected the woodland property and showed their prominence. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the game reserve was gradually abandoned due to the huge maintenance expenses and the liberalization of the area’s resources ended with the abandonment of Barco Reale in 1772. About 30 kilometres of the old walls of sandstone are still preserved and visible on the Montalbano ridge.